Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the most popular presidential candidate in the May 2016 in social media.
Duterte, standard bearer of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), beat his four rivals in the race to Malacanang, based on “election-related conversations” about the coming election, according to social media giant Facebook.
“Election-related conversations,” according to Facebook, means any post or comment that contains highly specific and targeted keywords or hashtags related to either the election itself, a candidate, a party, or a specific topic that might be playing a large role in the election.
With the 2016 elections only three months away, Filipino voters have invaded Facebook Facebook to post comments about their candidates and their opponents and discuss election-related topics.
Aside from Duterte, who has front lined survey results for presidential preference by pollsters Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS), the other presidential candidates are Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), independent Senator Grace Poe, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago of the People’s Reform Party.
According to Facebook, 8.2 million Filipinos participated in election-related conversations from November 30 through February 15. This figure represents 16.7 percent of the 49 million monthly active users on Facebook in the Philippines, and has resulted in some 45 million conversations.
“Facebook is the destination for authentic conversation about politics. It’s a place for citizens to learn about candidates, for friends to debate political issues, and for candidates to reach voters,” said Elizabeth Hernandez, Facebook’s Head of APAC Public Policy.
“Candidates are using Facebook to reach citizens directly and personally. They are having unfiltered conversations about important public policy issues and getting honest feedback from voters.”
“Percentages are calculated as the number of unique people discussing a particular presidential candidate, out of the number of unique people discussing any of the presidential candidates,” said the company in a news release.
“Because many people discuss multiple presidential candidates, the percentages will have a sum greater than 100. The numbers are however useful for comparing the overall size of discussion for one candidate against another.”
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US President Barack Obama has censured an American envoy stationed in the Philippines who gave out a statement that appeared to carry tones of American meddling in the forthcoming 2016 Philippine elections.
Obama, reports emanating from Washington say, reportedly had summoned Kurt Hoyer to the White House to explain his statement about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte adding color to the Philippine presidential race next year.
Obama also reportedly lectured Hoyer on American policy against commenting on elections in foreign countries.
Hoyer, the First Secretary and Press Attaché of the US Embassy in the Philippines based in Manila, dished out the statement in Davao City on May 11 during a forum as part of the local celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, organized with the participation of the US embassy.
Obama apparently got wind of a report in the Davao City-based news site Durian Post
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Scholar urges condemnation of Roxas as “datu.”
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
The proclamation of Roxas as “datu” by the Sultanate of Lanao has drawn the hackles of some Muslim leaders, who tagged Roxas as “anti-Muslim.”
“This is the height of impropriety!” wailed Norodin Lucman Alonto, who sees politics in the proclamation of Roxas.
Alonto, a scholar and peacekeeper who spent years as among prime movers in the quest for peace in Mindanao, in a post in his Facebook account, said: “I am a member of major Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu and I am sworn to protect its dignity and honor.”
Alonto said the Sultanates of Mindanao should condemn the act of the Sultanate of Lanao for the enthronement as “datu” of Roxas whom he described as an “Islamophode.”
“I will never grant that title to a proven Islamophobe. The Sultanates must condemn this treachery against the dignity of our forebears, said Alonto, who is running for senator under the banner of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) which has Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as standard bearer.
In his post, Alonto recalled a past incident wherein an honorary award was supposed to be given to the late then President Corazon Aquino. The conferment was aborted because it was not athorized by the Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu.
“I remember one event in Zamboanga City where Pres. Cory Aquino and I are scheduled to speak about peace in Mindanao. The DILG Usec (I forgot his name) gave me a text or part of my speech where I will proclaim Pres. Cory Aquino as Bai a Labi. I said “No.We don’t give away noble titles without the concurrence of the Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu.” They were shocked including Sen. Drilon, another Islamophobe, who was there. So they have to change the speech of the president. Better shocked than me insulting my heritage, the last relic of our culture that defines our nationality which was never conquered by the Spaniards and Americans. Every Muslim this country is obligated to protect and nurture this spirit that we inherited from our brave past.”
Administration presidential candidate Mar Roxas is pinning hope on grabbing the Mindanao vote after being enthroned as datu by the Royal Sultanate of Lanao.